Thoughts on Vocational Training Centers for Ecological Restoration

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Consumerism, Development & Property Trusts, Economics, Ethical Investment, People Systems, Society, Soil Rehabilitation, Village Development, Water Conservation.

John D. Liu I’m often asked “What can I do to help?” to restore the Earth. Over the years I’ve struggled with the answer. Sometimes I feel like it is unfair to ask me what someone else should do because even if I told them what I thought they probably wouldn’t do it. I think… Read more »

SOIL Wins Land for Life Award for Composting Toilet Aid Work in Haiti

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Compost, Health & Disease, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation.

In June of this year, SOIL (Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods) won the new UNCCD (United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification) ‘Land for Life Award‘ and received $40,000 to support their excellent practical educational work in biologically based sanitation — aka: composting toilets. Watch the video to hear our good friend John D. Liu of the… Read more »

My Experience of Permaculture Aid Work in Ethiopia

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Earth Banks, Education Centres, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Village Development, Water Harvesting.

I’m not sure it’s possible, looking back now, to say exactly what I was expecting when I hopped on that plane and flew to Ethiopia for an internship at Strawberry Fields, but one thing I am sure of is that it’s been one of the most transformative, edifying experiences I’ve had in my life.

Rwanda – Emerging in a Changing Climate (video)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Health & Disease, Irrigation, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Filmmaker and environmentalist, John D. Liu from the Environmental Education Media Project team, takes us to Rwanda again (last time was here), showing us how the country is seeking to leapfrog the disastrous ‘development‘ route most of the countries of the North have gone down, to instead head more directly towards sustainability. Given the horrors… Read more »

Finding Sustainability in Ecosystem Restoration

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Regional Water Cycle, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss, Water Harvesting.

Before (below) and after (above), Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabiliation Project A Breakthough of Worldwide Importance In 1995, as the Chinese government and people were beginning an ambitious effort to restore the cradle of Chinese civilization, I was asked by the World Bank to document the “Loess Plateau Watershed Rehabilitation Project”. Originally the Loess Plateau had… Read more »

Nature Resilience – Organizing Ecological Restoration by Partners in Business for Next Generations

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Community Projects, Consumerism, Deforestation, Economics, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Water Conservation, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

I was recently invited to contribute to a concept paper (2.2mb PDF) authored and edited by Willem Ferwerda. Mr. Ferwerda, a tropical ecologist, was director of the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) National Committee of The Netherlands from 2000 until March 2012. In his new role Ferwerda will support the IUCN Commission on… Read more »

How To Survive the Coming Crises (free Geoff Lawton video)

Posted by & filed under Dams, DVDs/Books, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Irrigation, Land, Peak Oil, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Harvesting.

At time of writing, our Zaytuna Farm Video Tour video has had almost 11,000 views, after only six months. A lot of people expressed their appreciation for this video, with some describing it as a "free DVD". Where we can, we want to provide more inspirational/instructional material for free, and today I’m writing to let… Read more »

Tony Lovell on Soil Carbon: Putting Carbon Back Where It Belongs – In the Earth (TEDx video)

Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Deforestation, Global Warming/Climate Change, Plant Systems, Population, Soil Biology, Soil Composition, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Trees.

I love the nice progression of logic in this presentation. Running the numbers like this shows not only how powerful a carbon sink our earth’s soils can be, under the right management, but also just how futile and what a goose-chasing diversion most contemporary technological ‘fixes’ for climate change really are.

Planting Days Are Here! (Al Baydha, Saudi Arabia)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Irrigation, Land, Plant Systems, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Swales, Trees, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

by Neal Spackman This week the project started planting the swales with 1000 very hardy desert trees. The team is working in shifts of laying drip line, digging holes, manuring and mulching swales, putting in compost, planting, mulching again, and then adjusting the drip emitter.

Permagardens In Practice: Resilience in Action (Uganda, Africa)

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Community Projects, Compost, Food Forests, Food Shortages, Irrigation, Land, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Swales, Village Development, Water Conservation, Water Harvesting.

PDCs are tricky. For two weeks we tumble into this community of unfamiliarly familiar, curious strangers. The constant whirlwind of habits, obligations, and distractions that composes our lives momentarily dissipates and we are thrust into this world where our main responsibility is to be open-minded, observe, think, learn, and connect. Yet, at the end of… Read more »

Update on Permaculture Implementation and Design Development at Hafto Site, Hadiya Zone, Ethiopia

Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Biological Cleaning, Community Projects, Compost, Fencing, Irrigation, Land, Material, Nurseries & Propogation, Plant Systems, Potable Water, Seeds, Soil Composition, Soil Conservation, Soil Rehabilitation, Structure, Swales, Trees, Village Development, Waste Systems & Recycling, Waste Water, Water Conservation.

Editor’s Note: Regular readers will have appreciated Alex McCausland’s regular and comprehensive reports from precariously positioned Ethiopia, and the great work he and his team have been doing on the ground. If you want to learn practical permaculture and gain real-world permaculture aid work experience in a location rich in agricultural history, then please consider… Read more »